Sunday, August 12, 2007

CYA protocol

In the aftermath of what is recounted in the previous post, a series of actions were taken by the different agencies involved in the snafu. The general purpose was to clarify what had really happened, to determine responsibilities and to revise the protocol of child mistreatments currently active.

That was not to be. Gradually, one by one, the different agencies and institutions issued statements justifying their activities, claiming their faithful adherence to the protocols established and putting the blame on no one.

By a peculiar serendipity I could follow part of the investigations proceedings in the Department of Welfare, in Catalonia currently named Department of Social Action and Citizenship (“citizenship“ in here had nothing to do with immigration nor naturalization. The term has captions closer to “being neighborly” and a responsible citizen), because my sister-in-law got named chief inspector for the enquire. It was just a coincidence that she had to report to her superiors, but she was cleared and given the go ahead to continue on with the investigation.

The Catalonia ombudsman finally issued a conclusive report with a summary of facts, the different agencies reports and a final evaluation of the issue, titled: “On the deficiencies of the system of infancy protection”.

I was expecting a more clear statement of the deficiencies and the system and an also clear definition of who had acted properly and who just neglected their duties, but the report collected the facts and spread thinly the responsibilities onto everyone involved, with a call for better coordination procedures and blaming the services overload of cases as the most detectable cause of the poor handling of the case.

Curiously enough, the report was published the last day of July, just before the long vocational period that closes up most of the judicial system and the administration agencies, and the news media rest in the hands of young professionals and students taking summer jobs in newspapers and TV stations, and the whole scenario turns to rather light matters.

The head of the Department of Welfare, who had declared that “her hand would not tremble” if there were decisions on the responsibilities to be taken, apparently has reduced her doses of Akineton, because all she claims is a reorganization of the on-the-job training for the officials involved in cases like this one. No heads will roll, nor will legal actions involve anyone but the parents of the mistreated child.

Altogether this all means that the “Cover Your Ass” protocol is functioning actively, and let’s turn the page. September will bring new things to worry about.

But I am not going to put up with this lack of accountability. I am going to fight for the application of common sense and go to the press with the whole affair now that everybody is on holidays. I hope someone will get a bit burn from other thing than just the Mediterranean sun.

I’ll keep you all posted.